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Tag: Barack Obama

Obama Pride

June Is Gay Pride Month

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, the Obama administration has proclaimed June to be national LGBT Pride Month. Now how about gays in the military?

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE

Myth of the Lone Shooter

It is believed that the shooter acted alone. But Michael Griffin also acted alone when he killed David Gunn in 1993. Paul Hill acted alone in 1994. John Salvi acted alone and so did Eric Rudolph and James Kopp. This suspect is hardly lonely in this murderous cast of lone actors.

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE

Ronald Reagan
Reagan Library

Reagan Didn’t Do It

It would be nice to blame Ronald Reagan for the economic meltdown, as Paul Krugman did recently, but the facts don’t support it. Unfortunately, the real villains are closer at hand.

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE /

Obama Picks Lakers in 6

Dress the White House in purple and gold, the president is backing Los Angeles in the NBA finals. It’s probably because of his uncommonly good taste and high basketball IQ, but it could also have something to do with the 39 percentage points by which he won Los Angeles in the presidential election.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE

USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE

DoD / SSGT. Lono Kollars

U.S. Invites Iran for Hot Dogs and Fireworks

After a three-decade ban, U.S. embassies will be allowed to invite Iranian officials to come celebrate America’s declaration of independence from Britain and its overpriced tea. Substantive conversations still aren’t allowed, but the BBC reports that “small talk” is a go.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


Gitmo Evidence to Be Made Public

On Tuesday, federal Judge Thomas Hogan ordered that the evidence regarding more than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees be made public, rejecting the U.S. government’s request to keep the unclassified information secret. These sealed documents may reveal the government’s justification (or lack thereof) for the prisoners’ continued detention.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


Number of Private Security Contractors Increases

President Obama railed against the reliance on private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan during his campaign, but new Pentagon statistics reveal their number has steadily grown since he took office, increasing 23 percent in Iraq and 29 percent in Afghanistan in the second quarter of 2009. “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill investigates.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


Democracy Now! News Highlights

Watch Tuesday’s news highlights, brought to you by Democracy Now! A couple of today’s golden nuggets include Jimmy Carter’s disagreement with President Obama’s refusal to release hundreds of prison detainee photos and a call from the former top coalition commander in Iraq, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, for a truth commission to investigate abusive interrogation techniques.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE

Health Care Reform’s Pulse Is Fading

So it’s health care overhaul this year—or bust. If this is the bet, right now I’d put my money on bust.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

A Lemon of a Bailout

With GM’s bankruptcy filing on Monday, we the people have become majority owners of a museum-quality piece of industrial history.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / ST33VO

A ‘New Homeland’ for West Bank Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday strongly opposed President Obama’s call to freeze settlement activity in the West Bank. The Israeli parliament, meantime, has proposed that Jordan should become the new homeland of those Palestinians living on the West Bank, but the Jordanian government is not exactly thrilled by that idea.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

GM Headquarters
Flickr / richardefreeman

Out With the Old, In With the New GM

General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy protection on Monday. Shortly after the announcement, President Obama tried to reassure taxpayers, who are effectively shelling out an additional $30 billion in return for a 60 percent stake in the company, according to the new restructuring plan. The “new GM” will shed 21,000 more employees and shut down 12 factories and 2,600 car dealerships.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

America’s Changing Moral Universe

Way back in 2004, pollsters and pundits just knew that cultural and moral issues were the wave of the future. But a funny thing happened on the road to the revival tent. Updated

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / World Economic Forum

Is Larry Summers Taking Kickbacks From the Banks He’s Bailing Out?

Why did Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley steer millions to a company Larry Summers directed while he administered “stress tests” on them?

Posted on May 30, 2009 READ MORE

Israel US

U.S.-Israel on the Rocks

Tensions have been mounting between the U.S. and its usual BFF, Israel. President Obama’s demand for an end to the construction of settlements in the West Bank was rejected by Israel earlier this week. Obama has responded by suggesting that Israel’s intransigence endangers U.S. security.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Eric Draper / Archive

Bush Defends Torture

George W. Bush took a break from the quiet life to defend his decision to torture detainees, saying his administration’s harsh methods were “within the law” and “saved lives.” Of course, the former president didn’t use the T word. “The first thing you do,” said Bush, “is ask what’s legal? What do the lawyers say is possible?”

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE

What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE

Hung Up on Race

President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court is a proud and accomplished Latina. This fact apparently drives some prominent Republicans to a state resembling incoherent, sputtering rage.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

Fessing Up Has Lost Its Shock Value

It seems government and investors are now engaging in damning honesty. With these outbursts of candor so brazen and self-explanatory, the press is being bypassed.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

abu graib torture

Pentagon Denies That Prison Photos Depict Rape

The Pentagon has denied claims made by a former U.S. general that the detainee abuse photos President Obama refuses to publish depict scenes of rape and torture. The rebuttal came only hours after Britain’s Daily Telegraph published retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba’s story. “That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the press Thursday.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Lt. Dan Choi Leads Gay Rights Rally Outside Obama Fundraiser

The anti-Proposition 8 protests were one form of gay rights activism taking place recently around Los Angeles, but a related issue was the subject of a rally led by former Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Arab linguist who was discharged from the Army National Guard earlier this month for coming out publicly: Choi wanted to remind the visiting president about his pledge to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

Hollywood sign
Flickr/Derek Purdy

Obama Goes to Hollywood (Again)

Fresh off a fundraising stop in Las Vegas, where he made an appearance at Caesars Palace, President Barack Obama swung through Hollywood Wednesday evening to pitch woo to a star-studded crowd for the first time since taking office—but, as The Wrap’s Dominic Patten points out, it was a bit of a tough crowd this time around.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Orders Review of Government Secrecy

Seeking to break with eight interminable years of information lockdown, President Obama ordered two studies on Wednesday that would review the government’s procedures of classifying state secrets and the degree to which information is being held from the public. National Security Adviser James Jones, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have been assigned to head the investigations.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

A Wise Person for the Court

Forget Rush Limbaugh. In Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination, we face the riddle of the wise old man, the wise old woman, and the wise old person.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

Why Obama’s Court Pick Is Already a Winner

The same impulses that have long driven the Republican Party toward ethnic polarization and immigrant-bashing seem certain to infect its opposition to Judge Sonia Sotomayor—in ways that can only benefit the Democrats and Mr. Obama in elections to come.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

A Justice for Us All

President Obama’s nominee said she hopes Americans “will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” Ordinary people have had a difficult time of it before the current Supreme Court.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Sotomayor Is No Leftist

Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids

I expected a federal government that has spent trillions salvaging the banks that got us into this mess to find the relatively minor sums needed to bail out California and other states that have been the victims of Wall Street’s dangerous games. But I didn’t count on the tough-love steeliness of the Obama administration.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / gotplaid?

Uncle Sam to Own GM Without Any of the Perks

GM’s restructuring plan will make the Treasury Department the majority owner of the company, according to Bloomberg. The administration reportedly intends to take as passive a role as possible and will not appoint anyone to the automaker’s board, thereby avoiding the danger that something competent might happen.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Maddow 1, Limbaugh 0

So, Rush Limbaugh’s got his knickers in a twist about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, calling President Obama’s pick of a Latina an example of “reverse racism.” This clearly amuses MSNBC’s resident smartypants Rachel Maddow, who’s at the ready with a zinger or two for Limbaugh in this clip from Tuesday morning’s newscast.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

Fresh Air Versus a Bunker

Which reality do you inhabit, Obama World or Cheney World? If it’s the latter, remember that storm clouds are always gathering. Don’t forget your umbrella.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Guantanamo Appeasement Plan

Two days after his inauguration, President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo within one year. The Republicans, led by Sens. John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Pat Roberts, immediately launched a concerted campaign to assail the new president. 

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Sends Rebs a Wreath

President Obama decided not to break with White House custom this Memorial Day and sent a wreath to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers who wanted nothing to do with the Union. But he also started a new and long-overdue tradition by honoring the hundreds of thousands of black Americans who fought against the South.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE

Shooting Shit

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE

World Economic Forum

Netanyahu Backs Settlement Expansion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet he would not oppose the “natural growth” of settlements, saying, “There is no way that we are going to tell people not to have children or to force young people to move away from their families.” Israeli settlements are widely seen as a hindrance to the peace process.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE

Packing Heat in the Parks

With their usual steely conviction, contempt for the rights and safety of others, and string of nonsensical arguments, gun supporters in Congress managed to push through a law to allow national park visitors to carry loaded weapons—openly or concealed—in the millions of acres of wilderness, scenic byways and historic sites.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE

Jon Kyl

Top GOP Senator Threatens High Court Filibuster

President Obama has said he wants to nominate someone to the Supreme Court capable of “understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles.” That’s just too much for Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, who has threatened to filibuster if Obama appoints anyone more empathetic than your garden variety liberal.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE

Guantanamo soldier
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Congressional Duck and Cover

Congress is broken. The framers of the Constitution, building on nearly six centuries of parliamentary experience, situated Congress at the heart of the American constitutional system. For the past 25 years, however, Congress has made a joke of that system, as it has trivialized and mocked any meaningful representation in the sense that the makers of the Constitution framed it.

Posted on May 23, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Is Torture a Partisan Issue?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been reasserting himself, for good or ill, in the public sphere this week. President Obama was ready with his own take on torture, aka “extreme interrogation” methods. Is this a media-enabled setup or a legitimate face-off between executive powers past and present?

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama Signs Weapons Spending Reform Bill

President Obama signed a weapons acquisition bill on Friday that aims to curb massive cost overruns in defense programs while increasing oversight and stimulating competition for contracts. The bill was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate earlier this week.

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama/Cheney Throwdown

As other news anchors gush over Thursday’s face-off between President Obama and former Vice President Cheney, Jon Stewart enlightens us on the discrepancies in their speeches. While Cheney wooed the crowd with his usual charm, Obama’s rhetoric sounded oddly familiar. Check out this clip from “The Daily Show.” 

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama Can’t Duck the Tough Ones

President Obama’s lieutenants would love it if all the networks ran a crawl line at the bottom of the screen during news broadcasts that kept repeating: “The economy, health care, energy, education. The economy, health care ... .”

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE

In Praise of Empathy

So it is that I am watching the run-up to the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice with eyes wide open. We’ve already had pre-emptive strikes against three women on the media short list. Elena Kagan, Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor are getting the scary radical treatment without even getting picked.

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama Defends Gitmo’s Closure, Cheney Rebukes It

President Obama spoke on Thursday to clean up the “mess” that Guantanamo Bay has become and stood firmly by his decision to close the detention center. The speech came after the Senate voted 90-6 to block $80 million for shutting down Gitmo. Meanwhile, across town, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech harshly criticizing Obama’s actions and defending the anti-terrorism policies of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE

BlackRock HQ
AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Our Loss Is BlackRock’s Gain

How much do you know about BlackRock and the hedge funds they manage? Better bone up fast, now that the folks at BlackRock are calling the shots in the government’s trillion-dollar bailout program. BlackRock execs are now directing key elements of the government program at a time when they stand to reap great profits from the fallout of a problem they helped create. 

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


Hannity and Ventura Step Into the Ring

Fox News gasbag Sean Hannity and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura tackle the state of our nation before and after Bush. Watch them finger-point, talk over each other and play the deficit blame game in their debate on Monday.

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE

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